Tuesday, August 31, 2010

October 12, 2009 - Flying with eagles or strutting like turkeys?

It's the day after Thanksgiving, so I had to pop in a turkey reference.

If you hang out with really smart people, does that make you look smart too?
If so, I want to hang out with LD more often.
She posted this to our board's email forum area recently:

"A study by Joyce Valenza and colleagues.
[ http://pdfs.voya.com/VO/YA2/VOYA2009tag-team.pdf ]http://pdfs.voya.com/VO/YA2/VOYA2009tag-team.pdf

Interesting observations on social networking by teens, much what we might expect.
But one pause for thought:"

(To summarize - some of the kids surveyed weren't too impressed with teachers using wikis - which of course worried me a bit since I'm beginning wikis with my grade 7s and 8s.)

In my intermediate PLC, we are reading "Start Where They Are" about differentiated instruction in the middle school grades. The chapter we just finished discussing was on Teacher Beliefs and Knowledge, and how our mental modes (inconscious beliefs and assumptions formed by our history, experiences and personality) prevent us from instituting real change, and that we need to try a strategy or technique that we think may not work and follow it up with a mentor to provide feedback, or to do "mental surgery" to undermine your old view and replace it with a new one. My colleagues and I found this chapter pretty optimistic; that change is possible. But what about those unwilling to change? Our principal was part of the PLC today and she mentioned the "watering" theory - you water and nurture the plants you know will grow and produce.

The Valenza quote (and you should really read the comments about "including those who aren't excited about this stuff in the conversation"), combined with the pedagogical philosophy talk has my mind whirling, but the conclusions and the connections are still uncertain.

I know one thing for certain - I'm having the darndest time finding midnight tickets for New Moon in my city but I'm determined to see it opening night. Any librarians want to do a mini-research project and help me find them?

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